Social Media Marketing Business to Business

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Way back in 2009, I wrote an article for Totally Incorrect about how Social Media could be used for manufacturing companies.

I’ve been re-vamping that site (sorry it is a mess, if you happen to visit over there) and  came across the old story – check it out here!

Back at that time, I really wanted to get a Social Media element added to our marketing mix and was investigating all the usual sites. What has changed in that time and what are other companies in our line of business doing?

For Winco, Labeling News remains the key part of our social marketing. We have written over 500 articles, get over 2,500 visitors per month and the phone and email requests for info (or to purchase stuff) come in every day. We don’t get a huge number of comments and interaction on the site though.

We also still have activity on the Social Media sites, the Labeling News Twitter account has over 900 followers and we are still working on the Facebook page (still something of a wasteland though).

Do you do anything with Google Plus? The coolest thing that I see is that Google Plus profiles can be used in conjunction with rel=author tags to get our profiles in the search engine results – see this example for one of Linda’s posts Linda Kosidlo Winco ID

What are other companies finding, you might wonder.

I think on the whole that many business to business companies are finding things much the same as we do. Here’s a pretty cool case study though, from a company selling Photo ID products.

In our industry, a lot of manufacturers and distributors jumped on the Social bandwagon a couple of years ago – how are they doing?

Zebra Technologies is the biggest label printer maker and embraced Social in a big way. I would always use Zebra as an example as to how this should be done – the guy who ran the accounts actually got the whole social thing, which is rare in our business.

Alas, it didn’t last. The Zebra Twitter account is reduced to the level of most others and the Zebra Tech blog (used to be great inspiration for me) is now rarely updated.

ScanSource, the Auto ID distributor also really got into the whole social thing. There was a great @ScanSource account and a lot of the employees were all over Twitter as well.

Some are there and @ScanSource is still around, but nothing like the same scale.

Datamax, Intermec, etc. and many other companies still have Twitter accounts but mainly just post company news and there is very little interaction to be found.

Motorola Solutions is doing better than most, with some good interactions. I think there is real confusion between the two parts of Moto though.

Unitech America, Wasp Barcode and Quick Label Systems are probably the stars of barcode/label/AIDC Social at the moment. These companies get the whole concept and provide a lot of value in a fun way. Talking about Wasp, there is a good post asking why small businesses ignore social media on the Wasp Blog.

What do you think? Have I missed anyone? Is there really any ROI for Social marketing in our kind of businesses?

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